Pastor Ray Minniecon, co-founder of Gawura School and a St Andrew’s Cathedral School Council member, has travelled to Glasgow to attend the United Nation’s 26th Climate Change Conference (also known as COP 26) on behalf of Australia’s First Nations’ community.
The conference, which started on Sunday, is a global meeting attended by signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. World leaders are aiming to find common agreement on reduced carbon emissions targets into the future, in order to stall or reverse climate change.
Pastor Minniecon will step onto the global platform at the special invitation of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he hopes his presence at the conference will ensure the voices of Australia’s First Nations’ peoples are clearly heard regarding the need to protect our environment.
“We need to have a seat at the table so that we can make sure they’re doing the right thing by our ancient wisdom, by our ancient knowledge, by our ancestors who looked after it,” Pastor Minniecon said.
Public expectations surrounding the conference have grown in recent months after the release of a UN report urging world leaders to act in order to prevent ‘catastrophic’ climate outcomes within the next decade. Pastor Minniecon believes the growing concern is warranted.
“We are facing a climate crisis. Our land is being destroyed and waters are being destroyed, it’s a crisis,” he said.
“Listen to our voices – you can’t allow 60,000 years of history to be gone like that in 200 years. We’ve got to change our attitudes and our behaviours immediately.”
When he’s not busy attending the most important climate change meeting of the year, Pastor Minniecon spends his time at St John’s Anglican Church in Glebe serving parishioners and the local community. He has also played an important role within the SACS community over the past 15 years, as a School Council member and as co-founder of our Gawura School.
According to Head of School, Dr John Collier, Pastor Minniecon “has been a very important adviser to parents, staff and students, deploying his status as an Elder, his cultural awareness, his pastoral training and his wisdom to the great benefit of all.”
While Pastor Minniecon is well versed in using his voice to help shape and steer programs at SACS, this week’s challenge requires all of his wisdom, knowledge and experience to help shape and steer the world’s most powerful leaders. It’s a mammoth undertaking. We wish him all the best.
Quotes from Pastor Ray Minniecon have been taken from The Point